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It took a community, and some plows, to rescue Oneida Township woman stranded in snowstorm

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

It took a village to rescue a woman who faced treacherous weather conditions after she was stranded in the snow in a rural area near Lansing.

The woman, 42, of Mulliken got her vehicle stuck in a snow drift at 6:44 a.m. on Tuesday while she was traveling west on Saginaw Highway near Fees Road in Oneida Township, according to the Eaton County Sheriff's Office.

She couldn't get a phone signal, so she got out of her car and started to walk. But it was snowing, the wind chill was below zero and she was not dressed for the weather. She eventually got cell service and called 911.

A snow plow clears snow and ice after a massive snow storm hit Michigan on Saturday.

"She described getting very cold, falling in the snow and at times crawling," according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office. "She had been out there for almost two hours ... had it not been for getting a phone signal to place a 911 call, she may not have made it."

Police encouraged her to keep moving and dispatched a patrol car to pick her up.

But officers soon discovered that they couldn't get through the roads to rescue the woman. A Michigan State Police trooper spotted a resident plowing roads who was willing to help.

Meanwhile, a sheriff's deputy enlisted the help of a Lawnscapes Lawn Care plow truck driver working in the area who was willing to help and started plowing in another area nearby. The Eaton County Road Commission was in the area and also started plowing. 

Grand Ledge Fire and EMS also responded to help in the search.

The motorist eventually was located on Saginaw Highway, about a tenth of a mile east of Benton Road. Police put her in the back of a patrol car, where she described having trouble feeling her extremities. Grand Ledge EMS transported her to a hospital, where she was treated for the early stages of frostbite.

"The combined efforts between the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Grand Ledge Fire and EMS, Eaton County Central Dispatch, Eaton County Road Commission, along with some civilian heroes, resulted in a successful rescue of someone who was truly in need of immediate help," police said.

Residents were thrilled to hear of the rescue, with one person on the Sheriff's Office Facebook page calling it an "awesome story of kindness and sheer determination on so many levels."


twitter: @kimberkoz